Jillian

Something I am Proud Of:

My experience with bipolar disorder has instilled in me a deep empathy for those navigating mental health challenges within the criminal justice system. While my journey hasn’t been without its hurdles, such as major depressive episodes and suicide attempts, it has fueled my passion to pursue a PhD in Forensic Psychology. This allows me to develop expertise in mental health, particularly for individuals with bipolar disorder. Through my studies, I aim to not only understand their experiences better but also advocate for effective treatment and reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. Research suggests that sharing personal stories can help others feel less alone. I hope to contribute to this by sharing my experiences while becoming an expert who can empower individuals with bipolar disorder not only within the forensic system but the general community as well. I am proud of my overall journey and who it is has made me today.

Message for Newly Diagnosed:

My message for those newly diagnosed is that you are not alone. You are a warrior and a survivor. Your journey is important to yourself and others struggling as well. It’s important to understand that it’s okay to not be okay. What matters most is your experience and your ability to overcome stigma, hurdles, and change the narrative on the diagnosis.

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